The new credit card consolidation device Coin has a lot to offer consumers who carry loads of plastic - like convenience, lighter wallets and security features.
Coin is designed to look and function like many of the plastic cards we carry everyday, but it collects the information on all those cards so a Coin is all a consumer needs to carry, along with a smartphone. Cards are added to a Coin by using the Coin app, taking pictures of a card and swiping the card through a device that attaches to smartphones.
If you haven't received an email by now offering you a huge sum of money in exchange for a small initial deposit or fee, you should feel a little left out.
According to "Financial Fraud and Fraud Susceptibility in the United States," a new report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 67 percent of consumers have received this type of email. Another 36 percent have received a letter that says they've won a lottery in a country they've never visited.
The survey found that all told, more than 8 in 10 consumers have been asked to participate in a potentially fraudulent offer.
With all the 2013 Black Friday ad leaks and sneak peeks we've unearthed in the past few weeks, this season's shopping extravaganza is looking ripe with deals and discounts for all. But even though many product categories will see new all-time low prices, not everything is at its lowest price on Black Friday. In fact, there are 13 items you definitely shouldn't buy on November 29. This baker's dozen of goods -- including toys and brand-name TVs as well as international airfare and digital cameras -- will mostly see better discounts in December and the new year.
While we advise against purchasing the following products around Black Friday, keep in mind that nothing is written in stone, and we may still see some stellar deals within these categories; however, it's more likely that we'll encounter so-so offers, so it's best to temper your expectations.
By Fredricka Ransome
Joan Harwood, treasurer of Dartmouth Fire District No. 3 in Massachusetts, handles an annual budget of about $1 million. While doing some routine online banking for the firehouse in 2010, she discovered that $375,000 was missing from the account.
It turned out that her computer had been infected with a malicious computer program, Zeus Trojan, that enabled hackers to access the account and steal the money. Zeus spies on keyboards and captures keystrokes to swipe usernames and passwords.
Harwood was far from Zeus Trojan's only victim. Using the malware, a cybercrime ring operating out of Russia made off with more than $70 million from online bank accounts.
Cybercrime -- which ranges from bank account hacking to phishing (in which fraudulent emails are sent with the aim of obtaining data or cash from the recipient) -- is vast. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, consumers lost more than $525 million to cybercrimes last year -- an 8.3 percent rise from 2011.
A study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates that the cost of cybercrime may exceed $100 billion a year. While hackers hone their craft of manipulating computer users, Michael Kaiser, the executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, provides seven ways consumers can protect themselves.
When it comes to getting fast customer service, the early bird gets the worm.
That's the finding of a new study by ZenDesk, a provider of customer service software. The company looked at the median response time for customer service inquiries based on the time of day that the request was initiated. The data is quite clear: The earlier in the day you initiate the call, the faster your issue will be addressed. Your best bet is to put in your request anywhere between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.; after that, the average response time declines over the course of the day.
By Bruce Watson
Ever since McDonald's unveiled their chicken nuggets in the mid-1980s, the tasty little morsels have been popular -- both when eating out and at home. Cheap, easy-to-prepare, and popular with children, nuggets seem almost perfect for harried parents. There's only one problem: Nobody really knows what's inside them.
When it comes to unlocking the mysteries of the nugget, government-mandated ingredient lists aren't all that useful. In the case of McDonald's McNuggets, the main ingredient is listed as "white boneless chicken," a description that seems clear until you consider the fact that "white boneless chicken" isn't the same as "white meat chicken" -- and the distance between the two ingredients can hide a host of sins.
One way of figuring out your nuggets is looking inside. The trouble is, the mishmash of meat is hard to decipher and seems pretty much designed to make you swear off nuggets for life. Recently, however, a paper published in the American Journal of Medicine answered the riddle of the ages -- and listed the ingredients of two brands of fast food chicken nuggets. The results weren't all that surprising, but they were a little disturbing.
To uncover the great secret of the nugget, authors Drs. Richard D. deShazo and Steven Bigler, and Leigh Baldwin Skipworth, B.A., bought nuggets from two rival fast food restaurants, broke them down, and tested the ingredients. One nugget was 50 percent chicken muscle -- the part of the chicken that we generally refer to as "meat." The other one was just 40 percent meat.
And, to compare, the top 10 highest paid players in the NHL:
With news of Phil Kessel's staggering $64 million contract kicking off the new hockey season, hockey fans and ordinary people wondered whether he could possibly be worth that much.
One way to consider player salaries is to compare them to their fantasy hockey rankings. (For the uninitiated, fantasy hockey is like the office hockey pool writ large. Thousands of sports fans take part in them annually, in every major sport, and it's dead easy to play: you register online, pick your team, make trades, endure the slings and arrows of defeats and injuries, and hope to prevail as the winningest team by the end of the season.)
There are multiple fantasy hockey rankings sites, but we chose four, (NHL.com, ESPN, TSN and Sportscentre) and took a player's average ranking to come up with our Top 10:
TOP TEN FANTASY HOCKEY PLAYERS:
1. Sidney Crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Evgeni Malkin
4. Aleksander Ovechkin
5. Henrik Lundqvist
6. John Tavares
7. Claude Giroux
8. Jonathan Toews
9. Tuuka Rask
10. Patrick Kane
TOP TEN HIGHEST SALARIED NHL PLAYERS:
1. Shea Weber - $14 million
2. Sidney Crosby - $12 million
3. Zach Parise - $12 million
4. Ryan Suter - $12 million
5. Ilya Kovalchuk - $11.3 million
6. Eric Staal - $9.25 million
7. Aleksander Ovechkin - $9 million
8. Brad Richards - $9 million
9. Zdeno Chara - $8 million
10. Steven Stamkos - $8 million
There's just a little overlap between the two rankings, with Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby and Aleksander Ovechkin appearing in both. Hence, our comparison of players who hockey fans consider to be the best versus those collecting the highest salaries. See if you agree with our choices for most overpaid and underpaid players and share your opinions in the Comments below.
By Matt Brownell
Tesla CEO Elon Musk defended the Model S electric car on Friday after a fire in one of the cars sent shares tumbling.
This week video emerged of a Tesla Model S engulfed in flames following an accident in Washington state. The resulting bad press proved disastrous for the share price, with the company losing more than $2 billion in market value. On Friday, the company's CEO sought to get out ahead of the story in an extensive blog post explaining why the car had caught fire -- and why consumers and investors shouldn't be concerned.
When Canada's new polymer bank notes were released in 2011, they were touted as the new standard for financial security.
After all, they come with a number of seemingly unbreakable security features. There's the clear window behind the portrait of the Parliament building and the metallic portrait, there's the feel of the single piece of polymer and the raised ink from the big number. There's the window behind the small maple leaf and if you tilt the bill, the metallic building and portrait go through a sharp change in colour. Inside the window, you will see small numbers and some of the leaves that border the window will cross into it. Finally, if you put a light source into the frosted maple leaf window and put it right up to your eye, you will see numbers in the denomination of the bill circling the maple leaf.
It seems like a high bar to clear for would-be counterfeiters, but Robin Steinberg, director of retail solutions for CashTech Currency -- a company providing transactional technology and services to retailers and other businesses -- says that counterfeiting has not abated in the least in Canada.
"When the counterfeit $100 polymer series surfaced, it served as reminder for everyone to not be complacent, even with these high tech notes. However, with the release of the $10 and $5 series, the threat suddenly becomes very real; as nearly half of transactions in the retail sector are paid with these lower denominations," she says.
Is 80 percent good enough for Yelp (YELP) users?
A new report indicates that as many as 20 percent of the reviews on the fast-growing local venues ratings website may be fake.
The report by assistant professors at Harvard Business School and Boston University -- Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud -- claims that roughly one in every five reviews on the site is fraudulent. Yelp has parameters in place to try an catch these bogus critiques, but obviously it can't catch them all.
The report's authors show that the number of fake reviews -- both positive and negative -- on the site have grown from 5 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2013. But while the problem is getting worse, it's something that shareholders may be ignoring. After all, Yelp has been one of the market's hottest stocks in recent months after having more than quadrupled since bottoming out in November.
Will the gains continue if the reviews can't be trusted?